Issue 53  
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Magazine News
29.08.2017 16:29

The Last Legendary Battleship: Iowa Class

Once ruling the seas, battleships or so-called armoured ships, gradually lost favour to aircraft. On the eve of the Second World War, many large navies were indecisive as regards the fate of these platforms. Being the last of these formidable giants cruising the seas, Iowa class battleships were thus designed in such a period. 

When Captain Billy Mitchell risked his career with the argument that aircraft would replace large battleships in open seas; the US Navy staff were still not ready to leave aside classical doctrines. In effect, nobody found it odd that aircraft carriers and aircraft might play a role in future naval warfare; nevertheless, those who foresaw that these systems would become a decisive power all by themselves, were only a handful of people. 

The decision to build Iowas was made exactly at that time. In those years, the United States, which has traditionally stood away from European affairs, set its focus on the Pacific Ocean. Being the largest mass of water in the world, this ocean surrounded Japan, which was disrupting the balances of the time with its large and modern navy. In fact, according to the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, there was consensus to keep a 5:3 ratio of naval powers between the two countries. Certainly, the scales tipped in favour of the United States. However, differing from the pro-status quo Washington, Tokyo was determined to get more. Accordingly, the specified limits soon became a hindrance to realisation of targets. 
 

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